Do all AirPlay speakers lag?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by RoryO, Sep 17, 2014.

  1. RoryO macrumors member

    Aug 24, 2013

    I've just bought my first AirPlay speaker, the Pioneer XW-SMA3. There is a very noticeable 1 or 2 second delay between pressing a control on my iOS device and the speaker responding. For instance changing the volume up or down, or pressing play or stop.

    I was wondering if all AirPlay speakers do this, due to some inherent limitation of AirPlay, or if this is just a low quality implementation of AirPlay?

    (I appreciate that there might be a delay in starting a song playing, due to buffering, but I can't see an obvious reason for a delay when adjusting the volume or pressing stop. I'm thinking about returning this speaker but if they are all like this I may just keep this one for a while until the technology improves, or try bluetooth instead.)
  2. Mikael H macrumors 6502a

    Sep 3, 2014
    All controls are sent over wireless, which inherently adds some latency. Add to that some internal processing - they surely didn't put the fastest CPU on the market into such a box - et voila: your 1000 ms latency is a fact.
  3. RoryO thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 24, 2013
    Ok, I just pinged the speaker and got a response time of 3ms. So I guess my WiFi isn't adding anything.

    Any personal experience of other AirPlay speakers, do they also have similar lag, or do you get a better experience if you go for the higher end models like B&W.
  4. smellalot macrumors 6502

    Dec 6, 2011
    I have 4 Airplay receivers: two Airport Express and two Sony all in one speakers. There is no delay when adjusting the volume or pressing pause. Only when you start playing. I'm not sure about what happens when I skip a song.

    So it might actually be your speaker.
  5. waw74 macrumors 68040

    May 27, 2008
    airplay has a buffer built in, about 2 seconds.

    playing or skipping will show that buffer time, as the new music buffers.

    Volume changes should be sent instantly, and that airplay has a built in pause command, that will cause the music to stop early.

    how exactly are you streaming? what app are you streaming from?

    If you use airplay speakers from a mac (using the control in the menu bar to send system audio), and then change the volume in an app, that will be delayed by a couple seconds. since it has to make it though the "buffer pipeline" the same with pausing or stopping.
    (the same happens when using airfoil, volume changes in the app i'm streaming from take 2 seconds, volume changes in airfoil happen instantly.)
  6. Menel macrumors 603


    Aug 4, 2011
    Do all AirPlay speakers lag?

    Pioneer's implementation is often ******. I have one of their receivers in my home theater, and a small standalone one in bedroom.

    They are slow, lag, and d/c easy.

    The AppleTV, and two airport expresses are spot on.

    In one case an AE is plugged up to a powered set of logitech pc speakers.

    The other, a little audio amp off amazon, and some old realistic brand speakers of my father's.

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